Teō Haka
Centre for
growth &

Electrify Aotearoa, a rallying call for women startup founders

Update: Electrify Aotearoa is impacted by New Zealand moving to RED. Because the goal of EA – which is New Zealand’s first-ever women founders’ summit – is to found a community, we are committed to hosting a covid-safe, in-person engagement which is the only way to build true and deep relationships. We have confirmed that our new date is Thursday, 26 May 2022. We understand this postponement is disappointing however, when we finally meet up, it’s going to be absolutely awesome.

We look forward to seeing you then and thank you for the incredible support so far. For any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


Women will start, shape, and build the future of Aotearoa industry, but change needs to come faster.  

That’s the rallying call for Electrify Aotearoa, an all-day national conference taking place in Christchurch, 26 May 2022. Spearheaded by Ministry of Awesome and Blackbird Ventures, the event brings together Aotearoa’s leading founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and early-stage startups for a day of inspiration, strategy, and connection. 

“Many of our country’s most important high growth startups are woman led and we need many more women to follow suit to ensure our country’s future success and leadership on a global stage. Electrify Aotearoa is designed to send an electric shock through the startup community and get more of our inspiring wahine turning  their big ideas into world changing companies,” said Marian Johnson, CEO of Ministry of Awesome, and organiser of the Electrify Aotearoa event. 

Globally, women only represent one in every four startup founders, despite research showing women-led startups are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies. 

“We’re partnering with the Ministry of Awesome to encourage more ambitious Kiwi women to take the leap into startups. By showcasing women founders and operators at different stages of their journey, we are hoping to inspire others with tales of courage and triumph,” said Samantha Wong, General Partner at Blackbird Ventures.  

Electrify Aotearoa will help establish a foundational network for women entrepreneurs, New Zealand’s top investors and venture capital companies, and the nation’s most successful women entrepreneurs.  This network will help them form a pathway for more women founders to activate and succeed with a powerful community supporting them.

The conference will involve keynotes and masterclasses led by mavens of the tech industry including Sharesies’ Brooke Roberts, Yabble’s Kathryn Topp, Outset DeepTech’s Imche Fourie, and Theresa Gattung, NZ Lead for SheEO, and Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. Together they will share personal stories, showcase vulnerability during challenging times and roadmap future woman entrepreneurs’ success.

The event is being backed by some of New Zealand’s most important organisations for the startup and innovation ecosystem, including MBIE, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, and AWS.   

Electrify Aotearoa will take place on 26 May 2022, at Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Full details are available at www.electrifyaotearoa.co.nz